Skin Aging: Why Does it Happen?
Skin aging is something that often alarms many. After all, who wouldn’t want to keep their skin smooth and young forever?
However, even if we’re able to slow it down a bit, we all know that it’s an inevitable process. But do you know why it happens?
The skin is the largest organ in the human body. It’s in a state of constant renewal, relating to the rest of the organs continuously. Its purpose is to protect the body from physical and chemical aggression or infection. It also allows information to be transmitted and exchanged between the body and the outside world.
However, it’s also undeniable that our skin also fulfills a very important aesthetic function. In this article, we’ll explain why skin aging occurs.
Signs of skin aging
Skin aging begins to occur from around 25 years of age. At first, fine lines appear which, over time, turn into wrinkles. The skin gradually loses volume and density and becomes paler, more translucent, and flaccid.
Also, spots may appear on areas exposed to the sun. They’re most common on the face, the back of the hand, and the back, where the skin also tends to lose elasticity. Similarly, the blood vessels in the dermis become more fragile and, as a result, small areas of bleeding can appear under the skin.
The sebaceous glands are responsible for producing substances that maintain moisture. As the skin ages, these glands reduce their performance. As a result, the skin becomes drier and tends to itch.
The same applies to the sweat glands. Like the sebaceous glands, they reduce their performance. Sweat helps to maintain body temperature, and when it decreases, the risk of hyperthermia (a sudden rise in body temperature) increases too.
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Why does the skin age?
Skin aging occurs for different reasons. Over time, the skin produces less protein, such as collagen – which is responsible for enabling it to perform its functions properly. Many factors influence this, but some of them are avoidable and controllable.
The avoidable factors are those we know about and can change. For example, there’s a lack of sleep or stress, which alters the hormones involved in skin renewal. Not being properly hydrated also influences skin health.
Sun exposure accelerates aging intensely. The sunlight and radiation damage the mechanisms that allow the skin to renew itself. In other words, it alters the production of collagen and elastin. In the same way, an inadequate diet also alters these proteins, making the skin look older.
However, other factors are beyond our reach. Firstly, there’s genetics, which has a significant influence. The race and type of skin we’re born with also determine aging to some extent.
For example, fair and sensitive skin tends to wrinkle earlier. On the other hand, Asian people tend to show a less uniform skin tone and fewer wrinkles. Also, the dryness of the skin we mentioned above is influenced by genetics.
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How can we prevent skin aging?
There’s no definitive solution to prevent skin aging. Although we can’t stop it, there are ways of slowing it down. To do this, all you need to do is to lead a healthy lifestyle. Moderate physical exercise is an antioxidant, and this will lower the levels of free radicals that also influence skin aging.
A good diet, without any deficiencies, will help the skin to have the nutrients it needs to renew itself. Similarly, it’s very important to stay properly hydrated. You should also avoid stress and try not to live life in the fast lane.
However, the most important thing is to reduce exposure to the sun. The sun is the skin’s worst enemy, as it greatly accelerates the aging process. Using sunscreen alone isn’t enough; the best way to reduce the damage caused by radiation is to avoid sunbathing.
Skin aging is a process that we can’t avoid. However, maintaining proper skincare can help slow it down, so there’s a real part you can play to improve the look of your skin!